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Need some advice...

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by In Missourah, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. In Missourah

    5+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I was unfortunate applying last cycle (fall 2008), and was wondering what to do next. I have a 4.0 GPA and 33 MCAT*, but applied late (days before the deadline. Actually, there was even one school whose deadline I missed due to procrastination), and got only one interview, which resulted in a waitlist.

    I've realized that my application was weak with regard to two areas:
    1. Late submission
    2. Zero clinical experience. No shadowing, volunteering, nothing. I had research, but that and tutoring are pretty much it. Most of my EC's are academics related.

    I've learned the hard way that I must apply early. I also know I seriously need clinical experience. I'm planning to begin shadowing some doctors in my area later this month. For now, I'm considering reapplying probably this coming fall or in 2010. But in that time, I need to be doing SOMETHING, especially as I'm an international student, and my OPT time is running out. I was thinking of getting a master's degree (preferably at a school with a teaching hospital, so I can shadow doctors and volunteer, all the while doing more research which will probably help, or at least not hurt, my reapplication). While I'm not sure a Special Master's Program (SMP) would be right for me, would getting a regular master's degree be a good idea in my situation?

    What do you all think, and in what ways should I improve my application in order to stand out (better than last year, anyway)?

    *MCAT breakdown: 10V, 11P, 12B
  2. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
    Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2005
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Do you have to take classes as an international student?

    If you do not, I would not take any classes and work and save some money.

    Your GPA is perfect. You have a good MCAT.

    All you need is clinical volunteering and apply in June. Do some shadowing as well.

    Shoot for 150hrs for volunteering and 80hrs for shadowing.

    Just explain you realized you made a mistake last admin cycle and just started volunteering, etc.
  3. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    May 15, 2008
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    Attending Physician
    Your academics and MCAT look fine.
    You really are not going to get into medical school without clinical experience. Why? The admissions committee wants to make sure you have some clue about what you are getting in to as far as a medical career. Call up your local hospital and start volunteering a few hours/week. You are sure to learn something. The ER or an internal medicine or surgery floor would be a good place. As your college's health professions advisor if they recommend any particular hospital(s) where you can do this.

    My other concern revolves around your being an international student. As far as I know, most of the US medical schools hardly take any people who are not US permanent residents or US citizens. We had maybe 2-3 in my medical school class, and all were underrepresented minorities (African or Caribbean origin). I think you need in inquire at various medical schools and see whether there are a significant number that take international students before you commit yourself to this path.

    If you cannot get into a US school, then returning to your home country, doing medical school there, and returning here for residency in the US could likely be an option. You can definitely try for US schools, but it just may be hard to get in and hard financially...I think a lot of them make you prove you have sufficient money to pay for 4 years of medical school before you even start, and you won't be eligible for some student loans.

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